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In Year Of Unprecedented Disasters, New Yorkers Answer Call To Help

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"No matter how big the emergency is, our volunteers are there to stand alongside their neighbors."

During a year marked by unprecedented emergencies, American Red Cross volunteers from NYC, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley have answered the call to help around the country and right here in Greater New York.
“In this time of incredible need, it’s been humbling to see my Red Cross colleagues carry out our mission with such urgency and compassion.” said Dario Diaz, Chief Disaster Officer, American Red Cross in Greater NY.
In just 45 days, the Red Cross responded to six of the year’s largest and most complex disasters. This included back-to-back hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate—the deadliest week of wildfires in California history, and the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas.
And as 2017 comes to a close, the Red Cross has been responding to devastating wildfires across much of Southern California, operating shelters and providing food, comfort, and a safe place for people forced from their homes.
Since mid-August more than 300 Red Cross volunteers and employees from this region have deployed out of state to support these relief efforts. This includes several Red Cross team members currently in Southern California supporting families coping with devastating wildfires.
“Our volunteers represent the best of this City and the best of this region,” said Diaz, who overseas Red Cross disaster relief in Greater NY. “Thank you to all who have put your lives on hold for weeks at a time to help others.”
Here in Greater New York, the Red Cross has provided emergency relief to approximately 8000 residents following more than 2200 disasters across the region since the beginning of the year (a slight increase over the same period last year).
These included high-profile incidents (like the tragic vehicle attack in Lower Manhattan this October), big fires (like the multiple-alarm in the Bronx last weekend that left dozens homeless)  as well as daily emergencies that don’t make the news (like the single-family home fires that occur nearly every day in our region). At every one of these disasters, Red Cross teams made up of mostly volunteers, rush to the scene to deliver relief--emergency housing, food, clothing and other assistance.
“No matter how big the emergency is, our volunteers are there to stand alongside their neighbors who are coping with some of the most difficult moments imaginable,” said Diaz.
Throughout the year, the American Red Cross in Greater NY also helped make communities safer and more resilient by installing tens of thousands of free smoke alarms in area homes; by teaching health and safety skills like CPR, water safety and first aid; and by empowering local families with vital disaster preparedness skills. Along with these services the organization also collects lifesaving blood and offers support to service members and their families.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Please consider making a donation today. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends goes to its programs and services, which includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance, as well as supporting the vehicles, warehouses, technology and people that make help possible.
The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
Ready 365: CA Technologies, Con Ed, National Grid, Petro Home Services, PSEG Long Island, Sony
ADGP & Disaster Responder: American Express, Assurant, AXA, BNY Mellon, Citi, Cox, Automotive, HSBC, IBM, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, PWC, Tata Consultancy Services
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @NYRedCross